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Learn How to Use Foam to Make a Cosplay Character Outfit

“The world of cosplay is full of fun characters and exciting adventures. When it comes to choosing a character to play, you want to make sure that every element of your costume accurately portrays the character from head to toe. Since horns are a dramatic and often used aspect of character design and can dramatically increase the appearance of a cosplay helmet, it makes sense to know how to make a pair using foam. From mythical legends to demonic characters, there are lots of ways to use this element to your advantage when playing a character. Let’s take a closer look at how to make cosplay horns using foam.

Make a Pattern

The first step in how to make cosplay horns is to create your pattern. You will need to have an idea of the character you are portraying to make sure the pattern matches the style of their horns. Once you know the character and what their horns look like, you can start working on the pattern. To create the pattern, you will need a marker, tracing paper, and scissors to cut out the pattern. On a flat surface, draw the shape of the horns on the tracing paper. If you are not great at drawing and your character is a particularly popular one in the cosplay world, you may be able to find a pattern pre-drawn online. Most horn shapes are easy enough to draw however so you may just need to give it a few tries to get it right. Make sure the two separate pieces are equal in size in terms of width and length to get a proper outcome for the end result. If you need to use a tape measurer for this part, go ahead since you want them to be the same size when you are done. Once you have the pattern traced on the paper, you can cut it out with scissors.

Gather Supplies

Once you know the size of the horns, you can get the rest of your materials together. You will need enough foam to meet the DIY project needs. If you are making thick horns, a thicker foam is a good choice, but you can also glue together thinner foam to create the same effect. While there are colored foams on the market, you will most likely paint the foam in the end, so the color of the foam isn’t as important to the process when gathering supplies. You will need essentials such as a blade to cut the foam, marker, glue, contact cement or liquid latex, paper towels, paint, and a paintbrush. You will also need something to secure the horns to which will allow you to wear them on your head such as a plain headband. Make sure the headband is thick enough to hold the width of the horns.

Trace and Cut Foam

Now that you have your supplies and your pattern, you are ready to really get started on this project. Using your pattern placed over the foam, trace the horn shape onto the foam with a marker. You will then cut out the pieces with a box cutter or scissors if you are working with thin enough foam. If you are looking to glue pieces together to create a thicker foam, you will need to cut out duplicate pieces so you can glue them together. Even if the foam you are using is relatively thick, it is still a good idea to glue two separate pieces together because it creates a 3D look instead of a flat look.

Glue Layers Together

The next step in how to make cosplay horns is to glue the pieces together. You can use a range of solutions here such as hot glue, liquid latex, or contact cement to glue the pieces together. The important thing is that you use enough to get a secure hold. You should also make sure you give the horns enough time to dry without touching them to solidify their hold.

Draw Base

Once you have the duplicate pieces all glued together in the shape of the horns, you want to mark the bottom of the foam horns as to where you will glue the base. This will help later on to make sure the horns stay upright in the right direction for your character portrayal.

Refine/Adjust Shape as Needed

If you need to shave off a bit of foam in certain areas to get the right shape, now is the time to do so using scissors or a box cutter. The key is to make sure you compare the two separate horns while working to keep them even in appearance.

To add texture to the horns, you will take strips of paper towels long enough to wrap around the horns and apply them to the surface. Using liquid latex, simply wrap the strips around the horns and brush them down. This will create texture and even ridges in the horns to give them a more realistic appearance over the foam surface.

Paint

Next, you will paint the horns in your chosen color for the character portrayal. You want to make sure the latex is dry from the texturizing step before you paint. You should also make sure you work on a surface you don’t mind ruining such as old newspapers or grocery bags. Using the chosen acyclic paint colors and a brush, you can start painting. A good tip is to start with a lighter color for the base and then go darker as needed to give you more control over the end result. Once you have the horns painted the way you want them, make sure you give them plenty of time to dry before moving on to the next step.

Glue to Base

The final step is to glue the horns to the headband so you can wear them as part of your costume. Add glue or contact cement to the bottom of the horns and press them onto the headband where you want them. Allow them to dry for at least 24 hours before wearing.

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